3// Derek

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Everyone chooses a path to walk along in life, it's like life is made of little chosen moments. I chose to join the Navy at eighteen, I chose to leave the Navy at twenty-seven and become a cop, these life moments I chose made me who I am today.

But choosing to be a single father, that was a choice I never got to make. It's a path that was chosen for me when my Ex left our baby with my brother one day, a baby she never told me about and then took off without looking back at her choice.

Don't get me wrong I'm glad I was thrown down that path, being a dad to my daughter makes my life brighter, it makes my life worth living and my daughter Daisy is my whole world.

But it's also not easy being a single dad, especially with my kind of job as a cop, the danger it brings, the long hours, and the toll it takes on you emotionally.

Juggling it all was hard, but without Daisy, I wouldn't have chosen the path that led me to River-Cove, a peaceful little town by the seaside in North: Carolina.

Before I found out about my daughter, I was a hot-headed New York homicide detective, who was fighting for justice for those who could no longer get it for themselves. I worked, I slept and then I went back to work, my life was my case.

And then that all changed when Tilly left Daisy with Deacon, I remember that day like it was yesterday. Me deep in a murder case, Deacon bursting through the precinct doors, a pink car seat in-toe with a sleeping peaceful four-day-old Daisy in it.

After that, my whole life changed in a blink and for the first time in my thirty -one years, I was at a complete loss on what the hell I should do.
Because I just didn't have myself to think about anymore, I had her, my daughter to think about as well.

And after I spent days that turned into weeks trying to find Tilly and nothing until one day I did.
This led me to realize that it was just going to be me and Daisy and that I couldn't have a high-demanding job like the one I had in New York, Daisy needed a parent and I was the only one she had and something had to give in the long run.

Which is how I ended up here in River-Cove, I put in for a transfer to somewhere that had a light crime rate, my captain knew the reason why I couldn't be a cop in a big city anymore, then an opening spot came in River-Cove.

At first, I thought I would hate it here with it being such a sleepy quiet town. But as the weeks turned to months, it grew on me and I get fixable hours, so I'm not losing time with my daughter, I'm not missing all the small milestone moments.

And Daisy is now six months old, she's happy and she's healthy, which is all I could dream off.

It's still hard though she should have her mom and she doesn't, I'm just lucky that my brother moved out here with us, he helped me so much these last six months, it really does take a village to raise a child.

Even though I have all I need, my brother, my job, and my daughter. But sometimes in a passing moment, it feels like maybe there's something that might be missing, and I'm not sure what that is yet.

"What's got you lost in thought?" Snapping out of my thoughts and looked up the see my brother walking out of the kitchen, cereal bowl in his hands, and bedhead hair sticking up everywhere, this has happened every morning since he was six years old. 

It's just been me and Deacon for years now, two brothers alone in the world and then Daisy came into our lives and Deacon-not that he will admit it to anyone but that little girl has her uncle already wrapped around her little finger.

"Nothing just thinking about what we need from the supermarket" I lied,

there's no way I'm talking to my little brother, about how I feel like there might be something missing in my life like I might want more one day.

If I did, he will just start talking shit like how I need the love of a good woman, and I don't.

The last thing I need in my life right now is more chaos, and women tend to bring just that.
No thank you!

"Do you need me to watch Daisy today?" He asked me, shaking my head, and looked over to my little girl, who was sitting in her highchair, with a perfect happy smile on her face, as she waits for me to feed her spoonsful of her baby breakfast.

"No, it's okay thanks, it's my day off" I replied, still keeping watch on Daisy as she eats.

"Awesome which means I can get some extra paperwork done at the gym" Deacon mutters through his cereal with food in his mouth, rolling my eyes at him. I swear sometimes you wouldn't believe he was twenty-five years old.

Deacon owns a gym in town, and it's been doing really well since he opened it three months ago. He offers workouts classes, self-defense classes, and everyday gym memberships. It's a cool place, and it's what he's always wanted for himself.

I'm proud of my little brother, he's always been one to lose his way really easy if he didn't have something to ground him and back in New York he worked at a boxing gym that was his calm place, and now here in River-Cove he has his very own gym to focus his whole energy towards. 

"I really appreciate your help, honestly these last six months without your help I wouldn't have got through any of this dad stuff," I say to him, looking from Daisy to him. Deacon finishes chewing his food and then sighs,

"We're the only family each of us has left Derek, and even though Daisy was unexpected, she's family too. She's your daughter, you never have to thank me for caring and looking after her" He answers with a soft tone, nodding my head at him.

He's right Deacon and I are the only family we have left, we lost our dad on the job when we were eleven and five.

And we lost mom a few years back, so it has just been the two of us for a while.
Then one day Daisy was left with us, and either one of us knows how to care for a baby at the time.

And as much as I appreciate Deacon's help these last few months, I had to figure out how to mostly do it alone because she is my child, I'm her dad, it's my job to make sure she's taken care of.

"Thanks, brother," I said with a nod, he looks at me and returns the nod before wandering off down the hallway.

Turning my attention back to Daisy and felt an instant smile form on my face, like it does every time I look at my daughter.

"Uncle D is right, we're all each other has got. It might not seem like a lot to people, but I can promise you this little one-;" I began saying to Daisy as she just looks at me,

"That no matter what, we will love you, protect you, and fight the world for you if we have too"

Daisy looks at me and flashes me a small baby smile. Nodding my head and chuckled to myself.

Yeah, I don't have much family, but I have a brother who has my back and my daughter's too. And I have a beautiful baby daughter I would lay down my life for, to me I have all I need, honestly now that I think of it what more could I need?

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